James Brayshaw shares devastating insight into Angus Brayshaw’s wellbeing and future after AFL retirement

Channel 7’s James Brayshaw has offered an insight into his nephew Angus Brayshaw’s wellbeing and future since the Melbourne premiership midfielder announced his retirement from the AFL.

Angus was forced to call time on his career two weeks ago after extensive neurological testing showed his brain had deteriorated since he was concussed in last year’s finals.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: James Brayshow opens up on ‘great shock’ of Angus Brayshaw’s retirement.

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The 28-year-old penned an emotional open letter declaring he was “absolutely shattered” by a reality he did not see coming.

Two weeks on, James said “numb” remains the word to describe how Angus is feeling.

“I think there was great shock around when he called into the club and they said you’re done,” James said on Channel 7’s Talking Footy.

“He’s 28 years old, 167 games, just signed a long-term deal, so in his own mind he would’ve seen himself playing till he was 32, 33 — and happily, because he genuinely loved the game of footy.

“He was one of those blokes who just had this glorious passion for playing football. To suddenly have that plug pulled out on you, age 28, I think he would be numb and shocked would be the way I describe him.”

Brayshaw retired just weeks out from the new season. Credit: AAP

James said Angus has “an extraordinary amount to look forward to” in life, starting with his upcoming marriage to fiancee Danielle, the daughter of the late St Kilda great Danny Frawley and his wife Anita.

“(Angus’s) parents (Mark and Deb) are great people, he’s got great support systems around him,” James added.

“I have great expectations for the rest of his life being great but there’s no doubt the last two or three weeks have been very tough.”

Geelong premiership captain Joel Selwood said Brayshaw would be a “huge loss” on the field for the Dees but his absence would be felt throughout the week, too.

“You see the love throughout the locker room, he brings people together,” he said.

“We’re all thinking of him.”

James added: “Thank you. I think he’ll be right but it will take some time.”

Angus’s retirement was the first of three events in the space of two weeks that reset the conversation about concussions ahead of the new season.

Port Adelaide midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper and St Kilda veteran Jimmy Webster were banned for four and seven matches respectively for knockout bumps.

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Jimmy Webster was banned for seven weeks following his bump on Jy Simpkin. Credit: AAP

Webster told the tribunal he had “no excuse” for what he did, though the Saints did argue for a reduction in the length of the ban.

“(The conversation) is shifting,” Essendon champion Tim Watson said on Talking Footy.

“The seriousness of what we’re seeing now when somebody gets a head knock, I think it’s really starting to hit home.”

Selwood said clubs have “read the room” to a greater extent than in the past.

Richmond premiership skipper Trent Cotchin argued “split-second decisions” that lead to concussions are impossible to legislate out of the game.

But James Brayshaw struggled with that point of view.

“I find it hard to buy into the split-second thing. The whole game is played in split seconds,” he said.

“And all you blokes have done since you started your career is learn to operate within split seconds.

“If you’re a Formula One driver you operate in split seconds, otherwise you don’t drive an F1 car. I think we’ve just got to understand there can be no place for that in footy.”

Brayshaw believes there is not an intent to hurt but “you can make a choice”.

“That’s why it’s such an elite game, the speed is incredible. Every decision you make on the ground is a split-second decision.

“I don’t think that’s a get-out-of-jail for intentionally leaving the ground and hitting someone.”

With clubs winding down the amount of contact drills at training in a bid to prevent head knocks, Selwood expects players will find it more and more difficult to lock in on game day as time goes on.

“We’re going to have to train a particular way so that these players don’t get there and make these mistakes,” he said.

“I think we’re going to have find ways that it is possible to train the brain to be able to make those decisions better.”

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